Youth deserve thanks for community work
I appreciates the Empire article with pictures of the Thunder Mountain High School basketball team and Girl Scout Troop working on projects to help those in need.

Santa Claus an important tradition
It seems each year a growing number of people are downplaying the importance of Santa Claus. I would like to express my concern about this.

Road extension has many public benefits
The shareholders, employees and directors of Goldbelt Inc., appreciate the decision and vision of the state to complete the Cascade Point Road extension. The extension will result in several significant public benefits.

Berners Bay at risk for mine mess, too
I am writing about the article in the Nov. 19 Empire about the mine mess left at the Tulsequah Chief Mine, owned by the Redfern Resource Ltd., that is draining into the Taku River.

All we need to do is keep the golden rule
I recently looked at the Empire online poll regarding Juneau's homeless. Sixty-four percent said they supported the city funding solutions for the homeless.

Ford tries to access Skinner dealership
Ford Motor Company is trying to gain access to a local dealership that was abruptly shut down 12 days ago.

Powell gets 8 years for police chase
Victor Powell's attempt to elude Juneau Police on Sept. 25, 2008, which resulted in a spectacular crash through a Vanderbilt intersection guardrail onto the Mendenhall Wetlands, was just his most recent bump down a long road of criminal activity.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 15

Photo: Stringing up the lights
Mark Murphy of University of Alaska Southeast facility services untangles a string of lights Monday as he decorates the corner of the campus along Egan Drive.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

A story in Sunday's Empire on page A1 incorrectly described Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, as a member of a legislative committee that conducted a hearing on the 90-day legislative session issue. Muñoz participated in the meeting but was not a formal member of the committee.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Sealaska ready to take heat on biomass
Sealaska corporate executives are banking on the sometimes-truth, "If you build it, they will come," by making a commitment to biomass as an energy source.

Experts: Skate at your own risk
Twin Lakes saw a lot of action last weekend - but those in charge of the ponds and lakes skaters love to frequent this time of year are still urging caution.

Commercial fishermen face 26% decrease in halibut limit
Commercial halibut fishermen facing a 26 percent cut in their catch limit next season are calling on the agency that manages the fishery to stop overharvest by another group.

Craig sees savings with biomass
An 18-month-old biomass plant in Craig is saving the city money on its heating bills, but the transition hasn't been without complications, according to City Manager Jon Bolling.

Police: Sergeant's death accidental
The Juneau Police Department experienced a big loss with the death of Sgt. Warren "Tom" Bates on Thursday, Chief Greg Browning said Tuesday.

Photo: Firewood frenzy
Tim Mosher cuts up a downed tree for firewood Tuesday along the North Douglas Highway.

Photo: Father-son outing
Florian Wade, 4, shoots a hockey puck past his father, Laurent Dick, during some father-son hockey time recently on Twin Lakes.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 16

An incorrect photo in Sunday's Neighbors section online was posted with the story "Dr. Mitchell Wilkinson joins consortium Dental staff." The correct photo will be posted soon.

Photos: Coast Guard organizations honor seniors
Chief Petty Officers Brent Reynolds, Michelle Jones and Jeffrey Schoknecht prepare to serve a meal to guests Sunday at the 2009 Senior Citizens Holiday Dinner sponsored by the Chief Warrant Officer's Association, Juneau Area Chief's Mess and Juneau Coast Guard Military Family Association. The event was held at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

Christopher Stumme
Former Juneau resident Christopher Stumme died Dec. 14, 2009, at his home in Altoona, Iowa. He was 17.

Clay Kishpaugh
Former Juneau resident Clay Kishpaugh died Oct. 29, 2009, in Mesa, Ariz. He was 47.

Outside editorial: Bipartisan action can curb debt panic
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

Outside editorial: National zoo's loss is an endangered species' gain
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

My turn: Alaska must face scenario of 'climate change refugees'
In two recent international news articles about climate change ("How much more proof is needed for people to act" and "Ignoring the future - the psychology of denial"), the importance of facing major issues that will confront the future of the human species were emphasized.

There's no such thing as shame anymore
Early in my column-writing career I took note of comments by the singer Madonna. A skin magazine had published nude photos of her, taken when she was a teenager. An interviewer asked if she was ashamed about having posed for them. She threw the question back, saying something like, "What have I got to be ashamed of?"

There's a reason I don't have a Christmas Tree
Stop. Take a whiff of the air around you. Go on. Get two or three. If people start looking at you like there's a wolf pelt on your head, just tell them the Empire told you to do it. No one will think you're crazy then.

Here's hoping criminals get jobs back
News reports keep telling me the recession is over, or at least ending, but if that's the case, why won't my wife let me write a check once in a while?

Hooper Bay police charge man with assault, DUI
BETHEL - Police arrested a 51-year-old Hooper Bay man accused of attacking a relative with a rifle after driving home drunk on a snowmachine.

Eielson youth football gets $1,000 grant
FAIRBANKS - The Ben Eielson Raven youth football team at Eielson Air Force Base has received a $1,000 grant for uniforms and equipment.

Teen killed on Richardson Highway
COPPER CENTER - A 17-year-old girl was killed in a crash on the Richardson Highway near Copper Center.

Bethel man accused of raping 11-year-old
BETHEL - Police have arrested a 45-year-old Bethel man accused of raping an 11-year-old girl about twice a month for approximately a year.

Motorist charged in death of cyclist
ANCHORAGE - A driver who struck and killed a bicyclist at a downtown Anchorage intersection has been indicted on accusations of manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Police killing suspect pleads not guilty
SEATTLE - Paralyzed by a detective's bullet, a man accused of killing a Seattle police officer on Halloween was wheeled into a courtroom on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges that could bring the death penalty.

Government transfers 126,000 acres to Doyon
FAIRBANKS - The federal government has turned over another 126,000 acres of land to the Fairbanks-based Native corporation Doyon Ltd.

Anchorage nightclub owner forfeits business
ANCHORAGE - A 66-year-old Anchorage nightclub owner will forfeit his business and liquor license as part of a plea deal in a federal drug case.

Tests show more wells tainted near Alaska refinery
FAIRBANKS - Tests have shown more wells have been tainted with an industrial chemical from a refinery near Fairbanks.

Two pistols, badge stolen from Homer police officer
HOMER - Two Glock pistols, a police badge and handcuffs were among the items stolen from the personal vehicle of a Homer patrol officer.

Bethel rape suspect surrenders to police
BETHEL - A rape suspect who eluded Alaska State Troopers for several days by snowmachining between villages in Northwest Alaska has surrendered.

Mask carver wins USA Fellowship grant
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska mask carver has won a $50,000 grant from United States Artists.

Alaska Air offers legislative fare
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Airlines is offering a discounted "constituent fare" to state residents for travel to Juneau during the 2010 legislative session.

Wasilla woman dies in car crash Monday
ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old Wasilla woman has died from injuries suffered in an accident on the Glenn Highway in Anchorage.

Cab driver foils Fairbanks TV thefts
FAIRBANKS - Police said a Fairbanks woman hired a cab to drive her home two nights last week when she stole TVs from Sam's Club.

Vote on new Wasilla library shelved
WASILLA - The lack of a quorum stopped the Wasilla City Council from voting whether to spend $1.5 million to buy a downtown shopping center.

Attorney seeks delay in Wade's fraud trial
ANCHORAGE - Lawyers for a Anchorage man accused of murdering a neighbor are asking for a delay in a trial involving the use of the dead woman's ATM card.

Anchorage now has special DUI prosecutor
ANCHORAGE - A special prosecutor in the Anchorage prosecutor's office will target drunken driving cases.

JDHS wrestlers go 0-2 at state meet
The state wrestling meet concluded Saturday and Juneau-Douglas wrestlers and coaches returned home disappointed, but excited for what is in store for the future.

Five hockey players in car crash
The Crimson Bears hockey team came from behind against Lathrop Saturday to take its first victory of the season, 2-1, but it was the events leading up to the game that the players will remember for a long time.

JDHS hockey falls 2-1 to Houston
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears hockey team fell 2-1 on Monday to Houston at in Mid-Alaska Conference play at the Wasilla Sports Complex.

The future is now
Thunder Mountain wrestling finished their season Saturday at the state meet in Anchorage, completing the first step in building a program to be reckoned with in Southeast Alaska.

Photo: JAHA crowns champions
Tier A - Svensson Boatworks Tier B - Capital Embroidery Tier C - Maroon Women's Division - Green The Island Pub's Dan Teske, right, is pestered by Svensson Boatwork's Nicholas Korzen during their Tier A final of the Juneau Adult Hockey League championships on Dec. 9. Svenssen won 5-2.

Sports in Juneau

Parnell budget limits spending
Gov. Sean Parnell presented a budget for next year that he said would both rein in spending and put money aside for the future.

Sister keeps cold case vigil
KENAI - The first time they spoke, she accused him of murder. Thirteen years later, she considers him a brother. Though they've never met, Sarah Musgrove-Short and Art White are connected by a shared love: a love for Jennifer Rachel White.

Palin stops in Alaska to sign books
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin returned to Alaska to begin wrapping up her national "Going Rogue" book tour, signing copies of her memoir Sunday for adoring fans in her home state.

Two lawsuits challenge Alaska offshore drilling
ANCHORAGE - Native Alaskan groups who depend on whaling and a coalition of environmental groups sued the federal government Tuesday, seeking to block a Shell Oil subsidiary from drilling next year in the Beaufort Sea.

Fairbanks musician makes his own guitars
FAIRBANKS - Karl Monetti is a modern-day renaissance man. He has built things from gunstocks to dog sleds to cabins and, most recently, has taken his passion for working with his hands and wood to create one of his greatest loves - a guitar.

Hearing starts for CG officer facing sex charges
FORT RICHARDSON - A military investigative hearing began Tuesday for a senior Coast Guard commander facing numerous charges, including indecent acts and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

One killed in hotel robbery in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - One man was killed and another wounded during an early Monday robbery at a downtown Anchorage hotel, police said.

'Heavy oil' may be future for North Slope
FAIRBANKS - Heavy oil is thick as honey and hard to pump out of the ground. That's where most of it has stayed while lighter crude is available.

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